To many observers, the 1981 election of Henry Cisneros as mayor of San Antonio, Texas, represented the culminating victory in the Chicano community's decades-long struggle for inlcusion in the city's political life. Yet, nearly twenty years later, inclusion is still largely an illusion for many working-class and poor Chicanas and Cicanos, since business interests continue to set the city's political and economic priorities. In this book, the author seeks to offer an in-depth history of the Chicano community's struggel for inclusion int he political life of San Antonio. Research is drawn from archives and interviews with key participants. The author focuses on the political and organizational activities of the Chicano middle-class in the context of post-World War II municipal reform and how it led ultimately to independent political representation for the Chicano community. There is also an extended discussion included of the role of Chicana middle-class women as they gained greater political visibility in the 1980's.
Rodolfo Rosales is Associate Professor of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at San Antonio.